“Me / And / Dad” – Billy Strings (2022) [english]

Today I will make a very short trip through time on the roads of the end of 2022 to tell you about a record that would have deserved my attention first or at least it would have deserved, and with merit, to be on my page of musical popularization.

As you know, I repeat until exhaustion, I know and discover so many artists that it is not possible to make you discover them all and with the space they deserve.

Some remain in the drawer and, as in this case, I can pull them out when the time is right.

For others, please note that on the Spotify music streaming service, you will find my daily updated suggestion playlist: Trex Roads Essentials (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3L32ssakWKdrxNlpelO6ao?si=c271d284775c4474).

I love telling the stories behind the scenes of the albums and the artists I present, and you will have noticed that many of these stories are dramatically true and full of passages “through Hell rushing into the Light”.

The story of Billy Strings, born William Lee Apostol, is a journey that began in Lansing, Michigan and started badly: at the age of two he lost his biological father to a heroin overdose.

Her mother remarried Terry Barber, who was a talented amateur bluegrass musician who organized jam sessions at her home.

The family has moved to Morehead, Kentucky and Muir, Michigan, all towns in poor areas that have suffered over the years the epidemic of opioids and methamphetamines.

Neither Billy nor the “new” family was spared from these addictions, but fortunately they came out and today they are here with us for a wonderful record.

Barber is therefore the father that Billy knew and from whom he will receive as a gift the teaching of the guitar and the love for country music and bluegrass. But his father could not know that Billy would grow up to be the most phenomenal bluegrass guitarist of the last 30 years at least. A sort of Eddie Van Halen of the music of American roots.

His amazing talent has made him famous, his concerts are sold-out and his fans grow day by day, so much so that he has already crossed national borders.

It does not sound an easy genre, indeed and having exported it with this success makes you understand how great is the ability of this millenial from the ancient soul.

Don’t get me wrong there are some really great bluegrass artists, but their success is limited to fans of the genre. The most famous son of this genre is Chris Stapleton (frontman of the legendary Steel Drivers), but he became a superstar when he started playing country, a much more mass genre.

It combines bluegrass with banjo, mandolins, violins and an ability to tell stories above average.

Well, after you listen to Billy Strings, you’ll have to associate his guitar.

Billy always had a dream, cradled for years and was always afraid he couldn’t make it happen. A simple dream, one of those who make themselves as children: recording a record with his father Terry.

The 14 pieces that make up this Me / And / Dad are all classics that Billy and Terry have played so many times that they probably didn’t even need to try them. A tribute to the love of music and the most important person in his life.

There is such a harmony in the choice of who will sing what: the choice is always perfect the warm voice of Terry or the powerful “big” voice of the young Billy.

The supporting band is an all-star of bluegrass music: Mike Bub on bass, Ron McCoury on mandolin, Rob McCoury on banjo, Michael Cleveland on violin, Jerry Douglas on dobro and Jason Carter on violin.

It’s difficult to choose a song to report and contrary to what I usually do I prefer to tell you only what are my favorites, on the other hand it is a particular record and not designed for evolution or to listen to new songs.

It’s just a thank you that a great artist now launched towards a lasting and legendary success, wanted to do to the man who raised him and also to his mother who sings on the final track I Heard My Mother Wheeping. A work recorded at the Sound Emporium Studio in Nashville and produced by Strings and Gary Paczosa.

To add romance to a work that is already chock-full of it, I tell you that Terry Barber went to the studios with his beloved acoustic guitar Martin. And you’re gonna say, “what’s weird”?

Well, said guitar is the guitar with which Terry taught Billy to play, but had been sold after the financial difficulties of the family and therefore thought lost forever.

Billy Strings did not give up and found it on the internet and gave it back to the rightful owner who wanted to star in this album.

For the one who write the piece that reaches perfection is Little White Church where the voices of father and son are completed in a piece of pure classic bluegrass, as well as Way Downtown.

Beautiful also Life To Go, the violin, the guitar and the voice so intense. A poem that walks lightly between notes. Fantastic.

I must say, however, that all the songs are beautiful, country classics that many will recognize from the titles, but that were immersed in a fun, exciting and light-hearted bluegrass.

A record that I absolutely recommend if you love classic country and bluegrass, if you are new to these genres you can not remain indifferent to these sounds so enveloping and oscillating between joy and melancholy, while you imagine the fingers of the instrumentalists flying on the strings.

The feeling then that moves all these songs is so deep and true, that you can not help but be excited by listening to father and son browse before your eyes, their beautiful album of family memories.

Good listening,

Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(in Ticino Notizie web site you can find original italian version of this article)

Pubblicato da Trex

Sono un blogger e scrittore appassionato di musica indipendente americana. Scrivo gialli polizieschi e ho inventato il personaggio del detective texano Cody Myers.

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